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Spotlight: IBPA Member Achievements

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Foreign Rights Sales Backstories

Jack Mayer, Long Trail Press publisher and author of the 2011 title Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project, reports he has sold foreign rights for Polish, Chinese, and Russian editions of his true story about a Polish Catholic social worker who rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto.

Two of these sales have stories of their own. The book will be published in Warsaw by the A.M.F. Plus Group because one of the children Sendler saved introduced Mayer to a publisher there whose mother was a friend of Sendler’s. The Chinese sale, to Oriental Press for simplified Chinese, came about because of a story in the Chinese-language edition of Reader’s Digest about the three Kansas teenage girls who uncovered Sendler’s story of heroism during World War II. The writer of that story sent a copy of the book manuscript to the Big Apple literary agency in Shanghai.

The Russian edition? That’s “out of the blue,” says Mayer, who received an unsolicited proposal from Eksmo in Moscow. Someone—he doesn’t know who—thought the title would make a good addition to the company’s list.


Moving the Needle

“A tricky sell” is how author Matt Chojnacki describes his Put the Needle on the Record: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions Per Minute (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd ), which documents vinyl single artwork, so he took advantage of the 2012 Record Store Day to release a special edition of the book.

“The idea is for music fans to support their local indie music stores,” he explained. “To help motivate consumers, many musicians release vinyl LPs, singles, and CDs in limited quantities that are available only on this particular day. Each year the event is a huge global success, and almost all items sell out within a few hours.” Chojnacki was pleased to sell 250 signed, numbered copies during the event, and to see the demand sustained for weeks afterward.


On a School Standards Site

If you sell to public schools and you haven’t already reviewed the Common Core State Standards at corestandards.org, you may want to compare the content and Lexile levels of your titles with these. Now adopted by 45 states, three territories, and the Department of Defense schools, the core standards help ensure that what is taught in each grade is consistent across the country, so that a child finishing first grade in Georgia, for example, is prepared for second grade in Oregon.


Bite-Sized Bulletins

● Mountaineers Books shared space on HuffingtonPost.com with Michele Obama in the article “Best Beach Reads 2012: Green Home and Gardening Books for the Summer,” which featured Food Grown Right in Your Backyard by Colin McCrate and Brad Halm.

● A June New York Times article on the resurgence of political coloring books included quotes from Really Big Coloring Books publisher Wayne Bell about the success of Tea Party II: Why America Loves You! The Social-Activist Coloring Book for Kids.

● Walter Brasch of Greeley & Stone, Publishers, received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Pennsylvania Press Club, awarded in recognition of journalistic achievement and community service.

● Storey Publishing editorial director Deborah Balmuth reports that “Wool and fiber festivals can move a lot of books” in “Wool, Fiber and Books,” a Publishers Weekly sidebar to the recent retailing story “Cultivating Book Sales at Farmers’ Markets.” She said the festivals are so important to the company’s sales that it schedules its launches around them.

● The same PW issue included a starred review of Sourcebooks Casablanca novel A Lady and Her Magic, and reviews of the same imprint’s Kiss of Steel as well as reviews of a Sourcebooks memoir, The Dog Lived (and So Will I), and of Poisoned Pen’s More Than Sorrow.

● Lee Klancher at Octane Press reports that The Adventurous Motorcyclist’s Guide to Alaska, released this month, was scheduled for coverage in a two-page spread in the August issue of Men’s Journal, a sister publication of Rolling Stone.

Spotlight is compiled by Linda Carlson (lindacarlson.com), who welcomes members’ news of unusual special sales, licensing deals, significant media coups in the last month, movie and television options, and other achievements at linda@ibpa-online.org.

The focus of this column is as much on how you accomplish something as on what you accomplish, so specific how-to’s are important.

For her other monthly articles in the Independent, Linda often emails members to ask about their experiences. To ensure you receive these messages, check that you have her email address in your address book.

Please submit your news for Spotlight in the text of your email (no attachments) and remember to include:

● your name and title

● the name of your press as it appears in the IBPA membership directory

● your email address

● URLs for the archived editions of any media stories you’re telling us about

Since information for this column is needed about eight weeks in advance of an issue’s publication date, news you submit by September 10 can be considered for the November and later issues. News that is time-sensitive should be directed to lisa@ibpa-online.org for consideration for the IBPA e-newsletter.


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